WATCH NOW - Media Day Interview with Mi-Khida Hankins
The BIG Picture
The Friars are coming off their first winning season since 1991-92 and return six letterwinners, including four players who have experience in the starting lineup. Senior forward/guard Mi-Khida Hankins is the team’s leading returning scorer (11.0 ppg) and rebounder (5.3 rpg). She played in 29 games last season and is one of the most athletic players in the league. A strong group of newcomers will be asked to contribute right away, as two transfers (Miranda Tate and Teya Wright) become eligible and join junior college addition Rachel Barnes. All three could make an immediate impact.
Guards Lola Wells (3.2 points) and Symone Roberts (4.9 points) both have experience in the starting lineup and will be counted on significantly. Guard/forward Tiffany Hurd (2.3 points) and forward Chandler McCabe (2.5 points) also will be counted on to fill a bigger role for the team this season. The Friars add two transfers to their six letterwinners. Guard Miranda Tate joins the team from South Carolina, while forward Teya Wright comes from UMass. Both will provide depth at their respective positions and will compete for starting spots.
The Friars will have to replace four key players from last season’s team that went 19-15 overall (7-9 BIG EAST) and advanced to the quarterfinals of the WNIT. Guard Chelsea Marandola will go down as one of the top Friar players in recent memory. Marandola averaged 18.0 points last year and was the first Providence player to earn All-BIG EAST First Team honors since 1994. In 119 career games with the Friars, Marandola recorded 1,795 points and 651 rebounds. She ranks third all-time at Providence in career scoring and 16th all-time in rebounding. Center Emily Cournoyer (8.5 points, 4.8 rebounds) also will be missed.
Providence was picked to finish 15th in 2009-10, yet exceeded all expectations with an eighth-place finish and a bye in the first round of the BIG EAST Championship. The Friars’ seven wins in league play marked the most since 2001-02. Providence advanced to the quarterfinals of the WNIT. The team’s 3-1 record in the WNIT marked the most wins in a single post-season tournament in program history. Guard Chelsea Marandola was a major reason for that success. Providence will try to fill the void with six newcomers who comprise the 29th-best recruiting class in the nation, according to the All-Star Girls’ Report.